The Author

17 03 2007

Kevin begins talking, he looks upwards clearly in a deep state of thought. Where do you think our thoughts and feelings go after we say them out loud?

Maddy responds in a similarly quiet, meditative voice as if they are aware that their conversation was scripted. I think they get said and immediately they become a part of ourselves again. When we share a feeling that is a fleeting second or two of what we feel right now, and then that moment kind of passes you know. And eventually, when the time is right it gets said again. They are said because we need to say them; there’s this compulsion inside of us that makes us say these things. Desires, wishes, feelings all of them coming up to the top and when we need to say them we do.

So it’s kind of like breathing or heartbeats.

Maddy misses the small verbal hit. Yes, it’s a cycle. We say it and it comes out and we swallow it back in though we try to share it between us for as long as possible. Kevin, I love you. I say that because it it’s always there brimming at the surface, waiting for a pause in conversation or a dull moment so that all else an be outshined.

Kevin begins talking. And does not stop. I think … when we say something … that what we’re thinking or feeling – it goes to the other person. They own it, it becomes theirs, and we lose control over having said it. And these stores of words representing emotions and thought decay on their own. It is by repeating it that I can make what is said meaningful. I think of love, right, and I see it as this finely tuned garden that I want to maintain. Not just any garden but a Zen sand garden, and there I am with my rake cultivating my sand. My energy goes into it so that the sand and the texture is well-defined, so that the words are clear and the meaning vibrant. I know that what I’ve said to others will erode, but what efforts I make to maintain this garden, this is what defines me. And maybe that’s a part of the reason I don’t tell my friends I love them often enough is because when people meet me I want the them not to browse but to see this one singular part of me, this spectacularly ornate design I have not only managed to make but to keep up. So some of these things I say often so that they never fall apart, so that they never even for the smallest second escape a perfect understanding. Maybe it’s somewhat routine, but there are other things, like telling you how beautiful you are, things that should be cultivated and aren’t. I bet you’re sleeping by now, aren’t you? Maddy is not sleeping, she is smiling, crying quietly with her back to Kevin perfectly still. He begins to stroke her hair carefully with a face that looks up and down trying to recall something. He moves to lean to look at her face; sensing this, she responds:

No, I’m awake. I’m about to fall asleep. She does.

Kevin begins thinking out loud or talking to himself, he can’t decide which and he knows one sounds worse. Why do people concern themselves with profundities? No one is capable to answer anything, only to produce a working model of an imagined solution. An imititation of something imaginary. I need to be in love, or I need to be laid, or cared for, or have a respectable job or degree. I need a family or a few more friends, yes I should spend more time with friends. I should write more, get a novel published. At some point, other people will want to write about me. There’s enough going on in life without contemplating the why. Fuck. The what is enough.

I want to know what it means to be American and also why everyone can lie so much. Or be hypocritical, I’m not sure which is worse. Everyone claims to be American but even though we praise ourselves on the fact that we make ourselves, that this is the closest meritocratic experiment .. whatever, this .. this is boring philosophical things. I should be seeing the bigger picture, getting business cards passed out, being known if not popular. Who cares about popularity. Well, if I want to do politics, I should care. But I’m not charismatic, well. Maybe I am; what about law. You need law to be good with making laws, but then look at Reagan or even that fucker Jackson, both of them weren’t lawyers, though they also weren’t very good people – funny though them not being lawyers and all. I shouldn’t say fuck. It’s out of character. Why do I think of myself as being in or out of character. I am. That’s it, there is no not being me when I’m doing something. Hell, this is the fucking epitome of being me. I need sleep. Or maybe a good movie. Damn this is probably boring the hell out of my roommate. Why do I think out loud?

He opens a computer. The screensaver is an image of a field, vast open, with a small house featured. All is perfect except that there are bloody handprints on the roof. No explanation. He opens a chat dialogue with a “Rebecca.” He begins to type. Maddy turns over and snores semi-loudly. He turns to her and takes a deep breath. She seems to be lying to him. He sends the first real message (after a few hi’s and hello’s).

Kevin: I feel like when she’s sleeping her calmness is a sort of lie. when shes awake shes basically the same.
friend: do you let her sleep enough?
Kevin: she’s not under my mind control, you know. and I don’t mean she’s sedate when she’s walking I just mean she is always calm
friend: so what’s the problem, you’re lucky boy
Kevin: I just don’t understand what that’s like, the security of being loved like that.
friend: you’re sure she’s not just content knowing she loves you. I mean you’re not exactly the reasurring type.
Kevin: you should have heard what I said today. any girl would have fallen in love all over again if they heard that
friend: but you didn’t write it down did you, you forgot, then you complain to me that you’ve got nothing to wirte about
friend: *write
Kevin: let’s talk about something else
friend: okay, about that poem you wrote, the one on your website
Kevin: i write many, be specific
Friend: the one with the tom and anna references
Kevin: maddy i guess in a way
Friend: hmmm
Friend: expand
Friend: please
Kevin: debating the existence of desitny most fitting
Kevin: destiny being real to maddy and not real to me
Kevin: one day though in talking it out with my roommate i figured out that my frustration with a lot of what happened is that i either want the relationship to have a sense of cosmic destiny or i feel it already does
Friend: ah
Friend: i see
Friend: so to you destiny is much more major than perhaps just what meaning you find/are going to find by the end of your life
Friend: but rather
Friend: it going beyond that
Kevin: i feel that destiny has more to do with taking away my ability to excercise free will .. i mean something so special should be pure because it’s the best choice not because so paternalistic deity thought it best for me
Friend: i agree
Kevin: though considering i more or less equate God and love .. i guess having love pick who I fall for isn’t the worst idea

He closes the computer. He flickers the room’s lights repeatedly. He shoots himself. No, too messy. He drinks every ounce of liquor on the fourth floor and dies brazenly holding his beloved copy of Hamlet. No, too pathetic – it isn’t real enough. He falls asleep next to his girlfriend. There, real. Natural, calm. He thinks of something to say to his audience, that burgeoning crowd inside his mind expecting a finale but ultimately prepared for disappointment:

And so the street, being blind, ceased its endless flurry of footsteps for one moment as if it knew that because they shuffled by quietly, a young boy would be able to rest his weary mind; a casual nap, a lenten vacation, a small sanctuary from a long day.

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3 responses

20 03 2007
Dad

I particularly liked this one for it’s authenticity, which is not to say that your others are not authentic, but at least this one wasn’t the imaginary alchoholic lesbian lover who commits suicide or whatever other perspective you are exploring that day. Before you dissect that to why should “The Author” be considered more authentic let me state that you are probably right in that analysis but it just feels more authentic to me when you explore perspectives which at least appear to be a part of your life.

First time I ever heard you say Fuck Kevin. Unfortunately, Kyle beat you to that one if I heard him correctly the other day!

When you write in your blog I never know if it’s your perspective or someone else’s but at least I sense some of your perspectives in this one in terms of your thoughts of destiny and such. Thoughts of destiny can be a good thing and a bad thing. Consider Alexander the Great for example on that one. It can be a huge motivator but also a curse. For me, I think destiny is knowing that we are guided and to a degree watched out for if we are worthy. I do not think it is about achieving hreat things necessarily but more about doing the right thinh and knowing that it is being observed when no one is looking so to speak. I want to die with my self respect intact and if there is meaning in that as I suspect then I will die content.

I don’t know if it is due to the concept of the Greek Gods meddling in our lives in some sort of cosmic chess game for some other entities amusement (which of course I sincerely doubt) or if there truly is meaning in our lives which we all sense in the course of it but possibly only realize when we die. I sense it as the most “real” aspect of my life. I sense a personal internal discussion and yes even a divine guidance sometimes. When all other things seem suspect I sense that personal communication with the guiding force which is in us and all around us so to speak. The word “force” doesn’t do it justice as it is involves free will but I sense that we are also punished when we fight it in our own personal ways. Possibly this is the essence of the existential will. The fat person knows not to waste food and indulge so much and often pays the price in personal health issues but fights the voice within him anyway and still eats to excess at his own peril. Even when the voice within him guides him otherwize there is a “satiation demon” within which wins that battle.

God I hate to use the word demon. It just seems like the best way to describe it sometimes. Something won’t let us do what we know is the right thing to do. We must be aware of it and not allow it to get a foothold. It can be that overwhelming if we let it. Of course I’m being symbolic here but using the word demon may be an insightful way to approach the problem, We do need to take it seriously even if the imagery and historical contect of the concept are so skewed negatively and probably fraught with distortion. We no choose courses of action sometimes which we flat out know are wrong sometimes. Is it because of a distorted sense of religion (George Bush) or is it following an inner voice or cosmic blueprint which is inherently there as my mother weould say (but I just can’t bring myself to agree with for some reason). To me, it is living with a degree of imperfection and we choose to be selfish and no in tune with the universe as it evolves. We are just another evolving lifeform which just doesn;t truly get it. Do the ones which get it die young? Do the ones which completely don’t get it live a life of misery and despair?

Why does the professional athlete still do Cocaine when all they have to do to make $10,0000,000 per year even if they don’t play is stay off tha drug. Why do they repeat the offense multiple times and completely ruin their lives when every logical thought steers them otherwize? Are demons simply the pitfalls which are placed in our reality rather than some sort of cosmic interplay within our minds? Why do we choose these options so many times? Does volition have anything to do with it? Why did Pete Rose gamble on baseball when he was the #1 hitter of all time and had more money than he would ever need and he choose to do so at his own peril? Is it him fighting the inner voice and being punished for it in his own unique way? Are we not all punished for our selfish choices in our own unique ways? It seems that way to me. We sometimes sow the seeds of our own destruction with almost a passion of it’s own. It is better to understand that at a young age and try to live an unselfish, giving life. Are not the happiest people your met invariably the givers in live?

Check out Chris Dodd’s biography sometimes. That guy is a giver. That guy is worthy of respect and has lived his life with honor. Wouldn’t it be great if the good guys actually won in politics? Should we support the best person or compromise on the one which is close on the issues but has a better chance to win. Isn’t that a moral compromise? I feel for people like Chriss Dodd and lament the passing of that era.

Got to go. It’s almost 3 am.

Dad

20 03 2007
Julie

This particular blog made me upset. I noticed that you categorized it under True Story and Short Story, and so from that I’m hoping that you falsified some of it. I only say that because I took some of it offensively. And to be frank, sometimes you think too much. Some things aren’t meant to be dissected and analyzed Kevin. While I admire your constant thought processes, at times I feel you go too far. You have to already realize this, but you can’t explain everything. I don’t know why I’m even saying any of this. You have probably already thought that through. Maybe it will be like a slap in the face if I say it. Maybe.

Julie

21 03 2007
that harvard kid

I don’t know if this makes anything better or not, but what happened in short was that I posed the initial question to Maddy as we were falling asleep. She responded and then I responded (the long paragraph about Zen gardens). Then I realized I could use this and write it down into a story. So I began a story much emulating the screenplay “Adaptation” which more or less includes a lot of self-analysis. So from there on, it’s Kevin-based fiction. I really have never thought to myself, “I should be seeing the bigger picture, getting business cards passed out, being known if not popular.” or “Damn this is probably boring the hell out of my roommate. Why do I think out loud?”

And to quote the Shins, “..loiter the whole day through and lose yourself in lines dissecting love” (Past and the Pending). I’m against consciously analyzing my life any more than I do already. I generally feel my unconscious drive to understand everything (destiny, love, the future, career, life, dying, etc) stresses me enough, perhaps even to the point where I feel I lose a bit of who I am in dissecting what I ought to be (hence the overly hyperbolic yet true statement: “This is the epitome of being me”). Also, note that all three comments so far have used the word “dissect” – dissections, at least from my memories in AP Biology, tend to be foul-smelling and painfully tedious — just a thought.

And to respond to Dad’s comments, I think that this piece had more to do with trying to live the moment (be “real”, which as you carefully noted we pretty much do on a day-to-day basis) and not so much being someone else (a giving, caring person without internal issues). I think that’s certainly someone to be or look up to, but what I guess this piece might have been about was figuring out which ‘demons’ (I prefer ‘drives’)were for the good and which are for the worse. I think, and this might be painfully egotistical, that once we know what currents are trying to sway us around we can consciously fight back and mitigate their effects. The problem lies in not understanding oneself.

Also, the F-word was used as an effect and again to mimic Adaptation. Don’t expect it to become part of my vernacular.

Alright, I have a few midterms and essays to get back today .. thanks for commenting, it means a lot.

– Kevin

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